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Investigating the neural circuitry involved in the negative affective-motivational component of pain

  • Full or part time

    Dr C Tinsley
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

The international association of pain defines pain as “an unpleasant sensory and emotional experience that is associated with actual or potential tissue damage”. Although the sensory component of pain (sensory discrimination and neuronal encoding) is well documented, the neural circuitry involved the negative affective-motivational aspect of pain is still unclear. The negative emotional components of pain (including anxiety, depression and aversive behaviours) are a key component of the pain experience, particularly for patients with long-term (chronic) pain. Chronic pain is prevalent in patients suffering from disease (e.g. diabetes, cancer) or undergoing treatment (chemotherapy, immunotherapy), which can lead to patient withdrawal from their societal environment. This PhD will use chemogenetic and optogenetic approaches in combination with electrophysiology, neuronal tracing and rodent behavioural paradigms (e.g. conditioned place preference) to examine the neural circuitry involved in the negative emotional aspect of chronic pain. This project is a collaboration between Nottingham Trent University and University of Nottingham.

Applicants should have a 2:1 or 1st class honours degree in a subject relevant to the proposed project. A 2:2 degree may be considered only where applicants also offer a Masters degree with Merit.

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded PhD opportunity.

References

1. *Richard P. Hulse, Robert A.R. Drake, David O Bates, Lucy F. Donaldson. (2016) The control of alternative splicing by SRSF1 in myelinated afferents contributes to the development of neuropathic pain. Neurobiol Dis. Dec;96:186-200
2. R.P. Hulse, N. Beazley-Long, N. Ved, S.M. Bestall, H. Riaz, P. Singhal, S.J. Harper, D. O. Bates and L. F Donaldson. (2015) Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF)165b prevents diabetic neuropathic pain and neuronal degeneration through actions on TRPA1. Clin Sci (Lond). 2015 1;129(8):741-56.
3. Drake R.A.R., Hulse, R.P. Lumb B.M. and Donaldson L.F. (2014) The degree of acute descending control of spinal nociception in an area of primary hyperalgesia is dependent on the peripheral domain of afferent input. J. Physiol. 15;592:3611-24.
4. RP Hulse, N Beazley-Long, J Hua, J Prager, H Bevan, Y Qiu, ES Fernandes, MV Gammons, K Ballmer-Hofer, AC Gittenberger de Groot, A J. Churchill, SJ Harper, Susan D. Brain, DO. Bates, LF. Donaldson. (2014) Alternative splicing of vascular endothelial growth factor as a novel pain target. Neurobiol Dis. 71:245-59

Related Subjects

How good is research at Nottingham Trent University in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 23.80

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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